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Near & Middle East Titles:
Records of Bahrain 1820–1960
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ISBN: (13) 978-1-85207-350-3
Extent: 8 volumes, 5,250 pages, including 1 map box

Editor: Chief Editor Penelope Tuson, former head of Middle East archives, British Library (Oriental & India Office Collections). Assistant Editors: A. Burdett, E. Quick. 
ISBN: (10) 1-85207-350-
Published: 1993
Paper: Printed on acid free paper
Binding: Library binding with gilt finish
See sample pages: not available

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In these 5000 pages Archive Editions presents a key selection of facsimile original British government documents detailing the history and development of Bahrain between 1820 and 1960. The set includes a map box containing 12 maps dated 1828–1955 including three sheets of the table of the Ruling Al Khalifah (´Utbi) family of Bahrain.
These British records are of particular interest because the British were in the unique position of being at the heart of government in the Gulf states. They administered Bahrain’s foreign and defence affairs through treaty relations from as early as 1820 and despite a convention acknowledging the independence of Bahrain agreed in 1913, right up to the British withdrawal in 1971.
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Historical Overview

The early modern history of Bahrain is one of independence until the Portugese occupied from 1521–1602 and then the Persians, though not continuously, until 1782. In 1783 the Persians were expelled from Bahrain by the Utub (Uttobee or Utbi) tribe from central Arabia, whose leading family, the Al-Khalifas, became the independent Sheikhs of Bahrain and have ruled Bahrain ever since, apart from a brief period before 1810.
The documents in this collection date from the early 19th century when the British empire was expanding and was particularly anxious to defend its position in the Persian Gulf to prevent the French, Germans and Russians from encroaching on the British position in India. The collection contains the key documents needed to follow the development of the State of Bahrain from 1820–1960. In fact, the first document is a retrospective dated 1844, by Lt. Kemball, Assistant Resident in the Persian Gulf describing the history of the ‘Uttoobee tribe of Arabs of Bahrein from 1716 to 1844. The documents include details of the war with Muscat 1828; relations with the Wahhabis; civil war in Bahrain 1840–1847; war with Qatar 1867–1868; the destruction of Zubarah 1878; Turkish and Persian claims to sovereignty; the respective rulers Shaikh Isa bin Ali, Shaikh Hamad, Shaikh Salman and the future Shaikh Isa bin Salman al-Khalifah; administrative and constitutional reform, 1955; and the multiple effects of the oil boom. The final volume is a map box containing historical maps and genealogical tables.
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Documentary Importance

Understanding the Series

The three sections of the Records of Bahrain Series combine to create a large collection which offers historical evidence for the political, economic and social evolution of Bahrain. Such evidence improves our understanding of the modern political position of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. This large body of documents includes, for example, examination of frontier negotiations and questions of sovereignty, particularly the claim to Bahrain by Iran and the long-running dispute with Qatar; it also provides details of constitutional, military and defence developments.
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Arrangement of volumes

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Contents Outline

Material has been arranged within each volume according to broad subjects including internal political affairs, social and economic development, regional and international relations. Within these general divisions documents are presented chronologically. Highlights from the volumes:

Volume 1: 1820-1868

Volume 2: 1868-1892

Volume 3: 1892-1923

Volume 4: 1923-1932

Volume 5: 1932-1942

Volume 6: 1942-1950

Volume 7: 1951-1960

Volume 8: Historical maps and tables

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Key documents

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The following maps and tables are included in the document box:
1. Trigonometrical plan of the island and harbour of Bahrain, 1825

2. Survey of Bahreyn Harbour and the Khaur-el-Bab, 1860
3. Rough sketch of Fort Muhurok, Bahrain, 1868

4. Bahrain Island, Wahabee Coast, Guttur Coast map, 1869
5. Notes on the island of Bahrain and antiquities, 1879

6. Table of the ruling Al-Khalifa (´Utbi) family of Bahrain, 1915

7. Plan of Manamah port and town, British Admiralty, 1933

8. Bahrain Island, British Admiralty, 1937

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Editor's Introduction

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Related Titles:
Arab Gulf Cities
Bahrain Government Annual Reports 1924–1970
British Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction in the Gulf 1913–1971
Diplomacy in the Near and Middle East 1535–1956
Documentary Studies in Arabian Geopolitics: Iran in the Persian Gulf 1820–1966
Foreign Office Annual Reports from Arabia 1930–1960
Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia
Historic Maps of Bahrain 1817–1970
History of the Indian Navy 1613–1863
Islands and Maritime Boundaries of the Gulf 1798–1960
Kuwait Political Agency: Arabic Documents 1899–1949
Oil Concessions in Five Arab States 1911–1953: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Trucial States and Oman
Persian Gulf Administration Reports 1873–1957
Persian Gulf Gazette and Supplements 1953–1972
Persian Gulf Trade Reports 1905–1940, The
Political Diaries of the Arab World: Persian Gulf 1904–1965
Records of Bahrain 1961–1965
Records of Bahrain 1966–1971
Records of Qatar 1820–1960
Records of Qatar 1961-1965
Records of Qatar 1966–1971
Ruling Families of Arabia: Documentary Records of the Dynasties of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman
Slave Trade Into Arabia 1820–1973, The
Survey of the Shores and Islands of the Persian Gulf 1820–1829
Treaties and Engagements Relating to Arabia and the Persian Gulf